Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has commended the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) for showing a strong commitment and support to the development of Nigeria through strategic partnerships with the public and private sectors over the years.
The commitment, he emphasised, has gone a long way to strengthen governmentâ€™s efforts towards enhancing the well-being of the country and the citizenry.
Osinbajo gave the commendation during a visit by the Management of the Bank to the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The visit provided an opportunity for the Bank’s management to formally donate to the federal government a robust Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programme web portal it (the bank) developed for deployment nationwide. The office of the vice president is in charge of this social investment programme, which was launched in July 2016. It is currently running in several states and when fully operational in all the 36 states, over 24 million school children will benefit from it thereby making it the largest school feeding programme in Africa.
Specifically, Osinbajo hailed FCMB, â€œfor being proactive and demonstrating tremendous interest towards the success of the HGSF programme. From what I have seen, this portal is an excellent initiative and the Bank should be commended not just for this, but for being a partner in progress over the years.â€™â€™
He noted that apart from improving child nutrition and healthy living, the free school feeding programme will increase enrolment of children, boost agricultural production and its associated value chain as well as create employment opportunities in all sectors.
Osinbajo expressed happiness and confidence that, â€œwith the involvement of a Bank like FCMB in this scheme through the web portal and other forms of support, we are optimistic that the HGSF programme will yield the desired resultsâ€™â€™. He urged the bank â€œto do more in the areas of partnership and financing to the public and private sectors, because this will go a long way to assist the government fulfil its objectives.â€
Speaking during the visit, the Managing Director of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mr. Adam Nuru, explained that the Bank decided to take the lead in developing the HGSF portal in further demonstration of its value as a helpful financial institution committed to delivering exceptional services that create life changing opportunities. He pointed out that the portal acts as an information hub which aids remote monitoring and evaluation from the Vice Presidentâ€™s Office, thereby giving access to data that includes but is not limited to the number of people employed in the value chain, the menu on state by state basis, the impact of the programme on agricultural production, and ultimately, the overall health and well-being of the benefitting children. These factors combined will ensure effective tracking of the success or shortcomings of the project on a state by state basis.
In addition, Mr. Nuru stated that, â€œthe portal has the capacity to accurately capture data of all pupils in Nigeria as well as to enable parents, teachers and other stakeholders send feedback on day-to-day field activities through an SMS code, thereby eliminating any form of fraud during the programme and payment of vendorsâ€™â€™. While commending the federal government for implementing the free school feeding programme, he assured that FCMB will continue to collaborate with the federal and state governments to monitor and measure its success, considering its very important and critical nature.
Nuru also informed the acting president that the Bank, as one of the top lenders in Nigeria, is already providing financial and technical advisory support to several operators in various sectors. He listed these to include power sector projects, export trade, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), among others. â€œWe will continue to intervene and offer support as well as solutions in developmental areas that would fast-track the growth of the aspirations of individuals, businesses and the country in generalâ€™â€™, he added.
With a clear understanding of its market and environment, FCMB is well positioned to continue to create value by delivering exceptional services, while enhancing the growth and achievement of the personal and business aspirations of its customers.